If there was one performance that earned almost unanimous praise from both TV critics and viewers alike this season, it was that of Justified's Margo Martindale. So the fact that her riveting portrayal of Harlan County crime family matriarch Mags Bennett earned the stage and screen veteran her first Emmy nomination is, well, justified.Graham Yost was the man responsible for taking the character to such heights. "We saw that first episode, and the scene where she poisons Walt McCreedy," Yost recalls. "We looked at each other and said, 'Well, we've got a season.' She was just so utterly terrifying yet human and believable. And the next thought was just us rubbing our hands with glee, thinking, 'OK, what else can we do with her?'"Walton Goggins, who, along with series star Timothy Olyphant and guest star Jeremy Davies, also earned a nod on Thursday. "I've been a fan of Margo's for years," Goggins says. "To sit across from this woman — and for my mouth to be open with wonderment at every single take that she did — was a highlight of my career. I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude."Elmore Leonard short story."We had an opportunity that was limitless. There were no parameters as to who this person could be," Goggins says. "We've been able to go forward with this guy in ways that still surprise me. With every single script, every single scene and every single word, it's a discovery. It's the opportunity of a lifetime, and I didn't think I would ever get it after playing Shane Vendrell."While Yost and Goggins will get to continue spinning adventures for Boyd, Raylan (Olyphant) and the rest of the gang, Martindale is moving on to CBS' A Gifted Man, where she will play the assistant of Patrick Wilson's lead character, a surgeon who begins seeing his dead ex-wife.
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